An evergreen, semi-woody plant 6 to 10 in. high; stems glabrous, the lower portion procumbent and matted. Leaves diamond-shaped, 1 to 21⁄4 in. long, 1⁄2 to 11⁄4 in. wide; coarsely and bluntly toothed on the upper half, entire and tapering below, glabrous, prominently three-veined at the base; stalk 1⁄4 to 3⁄4 in. long. The leaves persist two or three years, and each year’s crop is produced in a whorl-like cluster at the end of its growth, being separated from the previous one by several inches of naked stem. Flowers green tinged with purple, produced in spring at the end of the previous year’s shoot in a spike about 1 in. long.
Native of Japan. Not so striking a plant as the American P. procumbens, from which it is readily distinguished by its terminal spikes and smaller leaves, but hardier. It ultimately forms a dense low mass several feet across.
cv. ‘Variegata’. – Leaves bordered and striped with white.